Upcoming mega-sequel, The Dark Knight Rises, besides having the high-profile acquisition of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, will also contain one of Batman's most formidable foes in the buff, juiced-up, but cerebral Bane. Hammersmith, London's Tom Hardy, who will be tackling the role, certainly knows that the upcoming gig will be his biggest moment yet in the cinematic spotlight. In a recent interview on UK talk show Alan Carr: The Chatty Man (greatest title ever?,) Hardy sat down to discuss the big role quite candidly, revealing his expectations and how he plans to prepare.
Commenting on the role of Bane, Carr refers to the character as "properly menacing." Hardy responds:
"Have you seen the Joel Schumacher Batman & Robin? Doesn't look very menacing does it? " Adding: "Christopher Nolan will revisit that territory entirely, so I wouldn't go by that at all."
Of course, the portrayal of Bane, the chemically-enhanced strongman who actually broke the Dark Knight's back over his knee in a famous 1993 comic book storyline, was done a horrible injustice in the 1997 Schumacher-directed film. There, he was portrayed simply as a skinny criminal who is chemically-altered into a giant, mindless, clumsy oaf who was essentially a thug for Uma Thurman's Poison Ivy. The film itself remains the most consistent punchline for badly-conceived comic book films.
However, fans of the comics know better about the villain. As decreed by law in the fictional Caribbean nation in which he lived, he was forced as a child to serve a life-long imprisonment for the crimes of his escaped father. His deep, dark past of abuse were spent learning how to survive in squalor and building both his body in training and his mind by reading anything he could get his hands on. He would then be forced to become a test subject for a drug called Venom, which ultimately enhanced his strength to superhuman proportions, but also left him addicted to the substance. The result, was an awesome specimen with a brilliant, cunning mind that had a huge chip on his bulky shoulders. Becoming obsessed with the notoriety of Batman over in Gotham, he devoted himself to tormenting and testing Batman's character once he finally escaped from prison.
(Tom Hardy as he appeared in Bronson)
The biography is not all that dissimilar to a role Tom Hardy played in 2008's Bronson. In that film, Hardy portrayed a fact-based character, who as a young man, was sentenced to a 30 year prison term. Building his body over the years, he becomes a hulking bare-knuckle brawler upon his release. Hardy bulked-up significantly for that role and looked to be a completely different person. While the actor's role in last year's Inception may have played a part in him landing the Bane role, since director Christopher Nolan seems to place great value in maintaining cast connections, it's also likely that his Bronson experience was probably a bigger key factor. As a result, he knows he will need to at least get back to that shape, or perhaps, even bigger than he appeared in that film. According to Hardy:
"That's a lot of weight to put on and I've got to start shooting in May, I'm gonna go back to that size again. I'm gonna go back up to 13 and a half to 14 stone and I'm 12 and a bit now, so I've got under 3 months to do that." Adding that his process for bulking up involves "a lot of fat and trickery."
Christopher Nolan's Batman films are rooted in an adherence to realism, which is why other signature Bat-villains like Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, and Man-Bat were rejected. However, Bane's size and bulk in the comics also floats in the realm of the supernatural/unrealistic. Thus, Hardy won't exactly find himself having to become like 9 feet tall and 350 lbs. However, at 12 stone (168 lbs) right now, his target is to get up to about 14 stone (196 lbs) by May. -- That's a lot of early mornings, red meat, swill-tasting powdered shakes, and tortuous days of weight training. I certainly don't envy him in that task.
Finally, in what might be a bit of a scoop, host Alan Carr asked Hardy if he would have to wear what he referred to as Bane's "gimp mask?" After taking a few moments to ponder an answer, Hardy would reply: "Only if I feel like it." While it was simply an off-color joke from a talk-show host, Hardy's answer may have been a clue that we could be seeing a lot of his version of Bane without his signature mask. -- It's just food-for-thought, anyway.
Do you have any expectations for Tom Hardy's version of Bane?
Source: via Batman-News